How Mining Industry Can Use Technology to Increase Safety

The mining industry can increase the safety of employees with new technologies and data that will help them prevent safety issues.  

FREMONT, CA: COVID-19 has brought safety to everyone's attention, causing people to be more mindful of the actions and movements as they go about their everyday lives. While the mining industry's emphasis on safety is not new, the circumstances are now in place to employ predictive analytics and wearables to shift the dial toward a goal of zero injuries.

Companies will most certainly need to combine various data pools and platforms and drive industry collaboration more proactively. If this does not occur, people may find themselves emphasizing the possibility of change in a few years without seeing any progress.

While mining has always prioritized safety, COVID-19 has underlined how important it is to retain employee and community confidence. As a result, businesses are spending on extensive training in addition to implementing strong internal controls. Many companies are also accelerating automation and robotics solutions to shift workers out of the physical dangers.

An integrated approach to safety analytics

There's little doubt that the next generation of innovative analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to bring the mining industry closer to zero harm. Analytics may help firms go beyond a simple study of previous events to predict potential future situations that increase the likelihood of an incident occurring with the correct data. These models can aid in the prevention of safety issues before they happen.  

One of the most challenging aspects of advanced analytics is gathering the correct data. Most mining businesses keep detailed statistics on the number of worker injuries, the frequency of safety events, and a variety of other data. All this information is gathered after the event. Companies who are serious about proactively preventing incidents by monitoring conditions need more knowledge of the circumstances and drivers of those incidents.

An integrated strategy can help firms find hidden patterns of behavior or variables that lead to incidents by enabling them to aggregate large amounts of data rather than evaluating each in isolation. The predictive models may target high-risk operational scenarios and worker groups, allowing them to respond before events occur.

The wearables

Wearable technologies are one way that companies have been attempting to gather safety data. Numerous wearable gadgets have been developed to help enhance health and safety outcomes as technology innovation continues apace.

These include hard hats, watches, clothing, eyeglasses, and more, all of which are designed to provide various benefits, such as collision avoidance and environmental monitoring, fatigue management, and personal injury reduction. 

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